Isaiah 42:1-9 - Psalm 29 - Acts 10:34-43 - Matthew 3:13-17
Homily for Holy Eucharist, January 12, 2020 (The Rev. Liz Golub)
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. In the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Who’s your favorite superhero? What do you like best about him/her?
I want to tell you a story about another superhero, man named Luke, the namesake of our little Luke who will be baptized into the God’s family this morning. Luke was probably born in Israel but his family was originally from Greece. He was an artist and a doctor. When he was a young man he heard Jesus preach and decided to become one of his followers.
After Jesus died and rose from the dead Luke realized that Jesus really was the son of God. From then on, he began to talk to people about Jesus’ life. He told them stories about the people that Jesus met and how he would go to their homes for dinner or talk to them on the road.
He traveled all around Greece and Italy and many people got baptized and learned about Jesus through Luke’s stories. Eventually he wrote down all his stories. Now those stories are in the Bible. We call them the Gospel of Luke.
In every sense, Luke was chosen, called, anointed and empowered to preach the Good News and bring other people into baptism and the fullness of life with Jesus Christ.
- Isn’t it amazing to realize that God knew you before you were born;
- that all of your days, your destiny was written in God’s book of life.
Think about Isaiah’s words in our first reading. The words that Isaiah says are really God’s words. We call them a prophecy. God told Isaiah and his people about Jesus,
- The one who would come to save them from sin and evil.
- The one who would be a light in the darkness
- Who would heal people
- And free the prisoners
This prophecy is one of four Servant Songs, the visions that Isaiah had of who the Messiah would be. He would be a servant. In the ancient world a servant was more like a chosen and trusted messenger and confidant.
God, sent his son Jesus to be the light and saving grace for a sinful world. Jesus came to serve, not to be served.
And if we look at Jesus we see that his unique calling was not just for himself, but for every person past, present and future that God wanted to save from sin and death. Jesus chose to be obedient to God and changed the course of humankind. Jesus didn’t see the totality of his call that day at the Jordan River but he was faithful and obedient to whatever God put before him.
Lots of other people put God’s will ahead of their own. We have the examples of the saints, like Luke. But we also have Luke’s mom and dad who put their children’s needs ahead of their own desires. It takes a lot of sacrifices to be parents to Eugene, Reagan and Luke. But I am confident that Tara and Gene know that God will give them the strength, grace and patience they need to raise godly children.
But they don’t have to do it alone. That is why baptism is a communal event. Tara and Gene are bringing Luke into the community of believers:
- today Luke is gaining a whole other family of aunts, uncles and cousins who will pray for him
- and encourage him to become the boy that God calls him to be.
- We will also pray that one day Luke will stand up and make the baptismal promises for himself, when he accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Today is a day of rejoicing. The Good News is that Jesus has known Luke since before he was born. Jesus will be standing by him very second of his life. It doesn’t get any better than that.